These are our favorite new summer beer offerings

2023's best New England summer beers come from Harpoon, Allagash, and Castle Island breweries, among others.

Summer beers from Harpoon and Castle Island Brewing
Summer beers from Harpoon and Castle Island Brewing Courtesy photos

Here’s a pretty big admission coming from the beer writer guy: A lot of today’s craft beer just doesn’t travel well for summer.

If I could kick all those extra hazy, overly sweet IPAs to the curb every year between June and September, I would. Same for the marshmallow fruit bombs and stouts, though the latter holds a special place in my heart during winter. When it’s hot out, though, you don’t want a beer that’s tough to get through, which is where this list comes in.

Below are a handful of our favorite new summer beer offerings, with a regional classic mixed in just for fun.


Harpoon UFO Florida Citrus: Harpoon Brewery’s UFO is one of those beers you forget about from time to time, but it’s good every time you come back to it. The twist here is the addition of Florida oranges, which I was worried could make this into a hazy IPA thing but is actually a totally different drink. You get the coriander spice here from the Belgian-inspired wheat beer, as well as clean citrus and a refreshing finish. If you’re looking for something even lighter from Harpoon, their American Flyer Lager is also new this summer.

Castle Island Sweet Sandia: The description says “watermelon hibiscus tart ale,” and what you’re getting here is a pink-hued, high gravity beer that’s a little tart and highly refreshing. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s not too sweet.

Allagash Two Lights Summer Ale: Allagash does it again, blending cold beer and sparkling wine into one delicious concoction. While brewing this beer, Allagash adds sauvignon blanc grape must (basically the juice) and then ferments the whole thing with champagne yeast. I get aromas of pear and grassy hops, and the beer drinks with a delicate, fizzy, dry touch.

True North Coast to Coast American Summer IPA: What’s this, an IPA in a summer beer roundup? As you may have been able to tell lately I’m down on IPAs a bit, but I love a good, clear, slightly bitter brew. This one has flavors and aromas of grapefruit and strawberry, and is brewed with pilsner malt for a soft mouthfeel.


Dogfish Head Bo-de-Gose: A limited-edition collaboration with Talea Beer Co., Bo-de-Gose is a fruited brew made with cherries, guava, and pink peppercorn. The ingredients are inspired by things you might pick up at a Brooklyn bodega. The beer pours pink with a shocking white head, and drinks like a dry white wine.

Narragansett Lager: There’s something about summer that takes me back to this one, whether it’s the nostalgia of Curt Gowdy or “Jaws” or the fact that ‘Gansett lager is so darn refreshing. Nothing fancy here, just beer-flavored beer with a touch of sweetness and no bad aftertaste.


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